Doctors had managed to contain his lung infection but kept draining fluid from the lungs, Winnie said. "He is now breathing normally," she said.

The ex-South African President remains in a "critical but stable" condition at a hospital in Pretoria. He was admitted to Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria on June 8.

Mandela had a long history of lung problems, dating back to the time when he was a political prisoner on Robben Island during apartheid. While in jail he contracted tuberculosis.

Mandela is revered for leading the fight against white minority rule in the African country and then preaching reconciliation despite being imprisoned for 27 years.

Mandela, regarded the founding father of South Africa's multiracial democracy, served as the country's first black President from 1994 to 1999. He left power after five years as President.

Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.


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